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Lottery, lawmakers look to cancel veterans raffle, find other funding

Post by Jordan Schrader / The News Tribune on Jan. 24, 2013 at 10:05 am |
January 28, 2013 6:26 pm

UPDATED 11:15 a.m.

A proposal introduced today in the Legislature on behalf of the state Lottery and veterans department would end the state’s two-year experiment with a Veterans Raffle.

The raffle was supposed to raise money for small grants to troops returning from Iraq and Afghanistan. But the first year’s game ended up requiring major marketing to turn a profit, and the second game lost money to the tune of an estimated $100,000 after ticket sales disappointed.

Now the original champion of the raffle, Tacoma Democrat Steve Conway, and a bipartisan cast of allies in the Senate has sponsored the measure to eliminate it. But their measure would renew the grant-distributing Veterans Innovation Program and give it a more dependable source of funding: $300,000 a year in regular Lottery money.

Conway has said he expects there will be some opposition from education advocates who don’t want money diverted away from college scholarships, school construction and other education outlays. But the beginning of the bill’s path appears to be clear, since the chairwoman of the committee that will handle it, Janea Holmquist Newbry, has signed on as a supporter.

UPDATE: A House bill has also been filed, by Rep. Dave Upthegrove of Des Moines.

 

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